1934 Ford DeluxePhaeton
Year of manufacture1934
The Model T may have put America on wheels, but it was not its looks that turned it into a best-seller: Henry Ford was concerned about practicality, ease of manufacture, and above all, economy. The runaway success of the T demonstrated the wisdom of the elder Ford’s approach—at least for a time. His son Edsel, however, realized that design would be an increasingly important differentiator for manufacturers as the industry matured.
Edsel’s efforts were apparent across the Model A range, but it was with the subsequent Ford V-8s that his vision was fully realized: By essentially scaling up the attractive lines of E.T. Gregorie’s British Ford Model Y, the automaker was able to offer a range of affordable, yet truly elegant cars (that also benefitted from a modern eight-cylinder powerplant).
This DeLuxe Phaeton is an example of a particularly graceful part of the 1934 Ford catalogue. Lacking proper side windows and the corresponding all-weather protection, it was destined to have a limited audience; it is one of only of 3,128 DeLuxe Phaetons produced for 1934 (plus a further 373 “base” Phaetons). But for those seeking “the dashing style and airy freedom of an open car,” as period advertising literature put it, the DeLuxe Phaeton gave the motoring public a comparatively attainable route to enjoying a sporty, aspirational body style.
Finished in black, this car rides on cream wire wheels, with a matching covered spare mounted in the rear. It features a tan cloth top and a brown leather interior. Like all DeLuxe Phaetons, it is equipped with dual cowl lights and dual horns; however, it is also fitted with a second folding windscreen with wings—a feature that will surely be appreciated by the car’s rear-seat passengers.
The subject of an older restoration, this DeLuxe Phaeton has been well maintained but shows some patina and signs of use. Notably, it is presented in stock form; the same qualities that made early Ford V-8s so popular with buyers also made them popular with decades of vehicle customizers—making unmodified examples of this already rare style, such as the car offered here, particularly desirable.To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/hf21.